Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Kenneth H. Means.


Solid particle erosion in ductile materials is a common problem in many industrial applications. It is defined as material loss resulting from the mechanical contact between the particle and the metal surface. Many experimental studies were reported in the past to determine the loss of the material due to these ductile impacts. Conducting experiments for numerous materials at different conditions is difficult and costly. A finite element model to predict the ductile erosion loss at various conditions for different materials is more expedient.;In this thesis a finite element model was developed to predict the erosion loss for AL 6061-T0 at various boundary conditions when impacted by a single solid glass particle. The Aluminum model was developed in LS-INGRID and dynamic analysis performed using LS-DYNA3D to predict the erosion loss. Using suitable failure criteria the amount of material lost was predicted. For this purpose, a program written using AWK language was used to find the number of failed elements. The results of this model were compared with the experimental results of Sheldon and a close correlation was observed. Several parameters such as velocity of erodent, size of erodent, angle of attack and shape of the particle were varied and their effect on erosion loss (volume loss) was studied. The results were presented in the form of graphs that illustrate the dependencies between the volume loss and other parameters, which affect the erosion. The variation in erosion loss between the FEM model and the Sheldon experimental work as well as the erosion dependence on impact angle was explained. Finally the mechanism of material removal in impact erosion of ductile materials by a single particle was discussed.